D&B see good times ahead

I will note that, as we saw with yesterday’s PSI, high expectations often precede poor performance, but Dun & Bradstreet are out this morning with a relatively optimistic survey on future business expectations.

  • Two out of three Australian businesses (68 per cent) are more optimistic about growth this year compared to 2013, with the positive mood lifting first quarter expectations for sales, profits, selling prices, investment and employment to their highest levels in 12 months.
  • With greater activity expected, Dun & Bradstreet’s Business Expectations Survey reveals that 18 per cent of businesses are planning to access new finance during Q1 to grow their operations; the survey’s highest response since Q4 2011.
  • The pick-up in borrowing plans is reflected in stronger capital investment and employment intentions, which have recovered from negative territory during the previous quarter and moved above their respective 10-year averages.
  • Thirteen per cent of businesses plan to increase capital spending in Q1 2014, compared to the five per cent which will decrease, lifting the investment index from -0.4 points last quarter to 7.2 points.
  • Meanwhile, hiring plans have also strengthened, with 15 per cent of businesses intending to take on more staff while seven per cent plan to reduce their employment levels.
  • The response has taken D&B’s employment index to a three year high of 8.8 points.

Business Activity Expected to Lift in 2014

Comments

  1. migtronixMEMBER

    So does all this positivity, never mind China she’ll be right, mean that we get secular pay rises this year? Or is it another year of record corporate profits replete with stock buybacks and more accumulation of wealth at the top?

    EDIT: I’d rather have productive cap-ex than pay-rise but I suspect that cap-ex businesses are planning are just stupid consumables like ipads for cafe customers!

  2. Now in the real world….could all the MB folks who are in business,manage a business, have a relative or friend who is in business etc,
    please add their 2c’s worth as I would value their opinions over Dumb & Bullshits fancy crap.

    • Snail

      Ours is going well being an experiential service. Cant buy that over the interweb.

      We’re starting up a complimentary stand alone business late this year.

      • And who or what is the new business going to compliment? Good looking girls? Used car salesmen?

      • Davo

        Rreow!

        We don’t sell rank and file widgets – I suspect these you can get anywhere and at the lowest cost possible – a tough business, unless they’re new and shiny.

        My point being, we provide a family experience. Which is what life is all about and which you have to leave your PC or TV to attend.

        And yes we employ attractive teenagers.

      • I got it Davo. I share your affliction. Have actually PM’ed C Cashmore to be careful re the difference between principal/principle but see it was back in her excellent piece yesterday. Pedants, unite!

      • Absolutely, otherwise why pull me up.

        Even safety cameras have some tolerance.

        Spelling is one thing, knowing what to write and when is another.

    • I run a business in the Docklands (Melbourne) and we are one of only 8 businesses that are actually making a profit, 2013 for us was one of the worse years we have had although (touch wood) we have had a really good start to the year in 2014, I do hope this keeps up. Maybe the starting up of the Big Wheel has made a difference (Im not too sure) but we will know more in Feb and March, We had a employee leave just before Christmas and have yet to replace them and not sure we will for a while yet until we see how things pan out. Around 12 businesses have closed in the Docklands over the last 5 months, Docklands management are becoming tougher on tenants, which I fear will end up being to their own detriment. Our lease expires in September which is good for us because it will give us a really good idea on our future direction and if it isnt as good as we expect then we can hand the keys back. We already have another business plan ready for action. I think that 2014 is going to be one of those quietly but slowly improving business conditions, but not good enough for me to start loading up any debt anytime soon. Ours is an “experience” business not available on the webnet thingy. We didnt use house debt to build our business, we sold our house to do that and then bought another house 2 years later.

  3. Snail
    Mine is downhill! As well as the economy there are some corporate factors in that. Talking to people in other areas including automotive repair etc it’s ALL down. Real Estate agents are BOOMING! New Audis! New Beamers! New SUV’s proliferate around anyting to do with RE.

    I’m thinking a lot of this must be housing related businesses in some way or other. It’s a pity they give no breakdown of the types of activities the buisinesses are in.
    Housing is IT. There is nothing else nor is it ever intended that we will have anything else. BOOM!
    Cheers

    P.S. D&B should concentrate on re-learning their core business of debt collection. They’re useless!

    • Thanks for the reply Flawse….just as I thought.
      I was in my local Harvey N store at the weekend looking at buying a new lounge suite and the staff were telling me things are very slow…I want to buy Aussie made and yes there are some and the prices are fair…but the cynic in me just might find out the Sydney surburb where the factory is supposed to be and pay it a visit…just in case ( if you get my drift)…I do expect the fabric to be imported.
      Yes, I’m as vexed as you are (and lots of other MBers) with the RE market…. my son is saving up for a home deposit and I advised him in 2011,2012 to keep saving so he would have a good deposit…well you know the rest…

      • I know two people who are buying $600k older style 3 bed apartments here in Darwin.

        Personally I don’t think their timing is great as there are about 800 high end apartments due for completion for in April, the beginning of the Dry season here. Of course most of them have been sold off plan already for the developers to get their funding but that’s a lot of property to hit a small market at the same time.

        Currently a three bedroom apartment or house rents for $750, all the new apartments coming on to the market will hopefully get rents back to a more reasonable level.

        It will be interesting to see what happens here next. The workers camp for the Inpex project is now complete and filled with 457 visa’s and I’m not sure how much more of the $34 billion being spent on the project will go to the local economy.

        On a social level, many good people are leaving Darwin because they can not afford to live here.

  4. migtronixMEMBER

    snail: mine outlook is very good but as a small, specialist, boutique software development working in the medical and financial spaces the outlook, short of an EMP attack, will be good come recession or boom (in fact recession incitivise businesses to push for productivity gains through s/w).

    Will I be pushing up rates on the next contract? I will now! !

    I have no employees and don’t plan to hire any but has more to do with quality of developers out there, and low patience on my part to train one…

    • “I have no employees and don’t plan to hire any but has more to do with quality of developers out there, and low patience on my part to train one…”

      More like your lack of willingness to pay a good price for a good developer – no offence.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        No offense taken, they can always do what I do and come compete with me — I collaborate with a lot of devs where we subcontract to each other, we all prefer this, I supposed we could amalgamate and go after the CSC/Fujitsu types but there’s no financing so why bother.

        Incidentally I’ve always believe in paying for work, if you do as much work as I do I’ll pay you as much as I pay myself and we all prosper — but for me quality is paramount and its what I sell my services on, so its the quality that’s an issue.

    • Hey Mig,
      this is the problem isn’t it. I try to find someone and then end up showing them how to do it. Then they don’t bother turning up and leave me doing 2 peoples work in a rush. May as well do it myself and keep the cash.
      The dilemma is I’m stuck as a one man band. This becomes a risk management issue for my larger customers. I’m in IT services.
      I guess the reality is anyone worth their salt, isn’t an employee.

      • ‘I guess the reality is anyone worth their salt, isn’t an employee’…… Likely!

        Unless they’re in a sector that requires insurmountable startup capital – plant & equipment etc.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Yep risk mitigation is my biggest worry, plus I’d like a holiday now and again 🙂

      • Hah, then my follow up question is, being very good at IT/Software development/what have you, how do you find and get business contracts? How do you find some unique market opportunity that you can satisfy?

        You can be the best developer in the world, but these seem more like business skills with a lot of personal business contacts / connections involved?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @SCM: Very true! I’m largely still at the stage where my reputation precedes me and I’m relatively swamped with work that I don’t need to chase new clients.

        What you say is very true, and if I have poor patience for training developers (who I actually like) I have far far less for dealing with lawyers and HR type – *shudder*.

        I’ve been advised a few times now to get business development and PMs but right now I really don’t like the idea — did someone mention cash-flow? 😉

      • With business contracts, I have more work than I can handle so I don’t want any more. My father says when you have too much work, you want less, when you don’t have enough, you want more, and when you have just the right amount, you want more.

        anyway..I’ve concluded the way out of being a one man band is to find another one man band and team up. I’ve recently met one of the most gifted people I’ve ever encountered, and have the good fortune that they want to partner up. We have completely different skillsets so its a symbiotic thing, and this is probably the lesson I learnt in trying to grow from one to two, you don’t want someone with the same skills, you want someone with different skills. It opens the potential service offering up massively.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        By the way, not sure if you all know this but “worth your salt” literally means worth your salary, indeed salary comes from sal – Latin for salt – because soldiers were paid in salt!! Think about that all you BTC haters 😉

    • After reading all this, I feel like Mr Orange.

      MR. PINK: Fuck all that. Hey, I’m very sorry that the government taxes their tips. That’s fucked up. But that ain’t my fault. it would appear that waitresses are just one of the many groups the government fucks in the ass on a regular basis. You show me a paper says the government shouldn’t do that, I’ll sign it. Put it to a vote, I’ll vote for it. But what I won’t do is play ball. And this non- college bullshit you’re telling me, I got two words for that: “Learn to fuckin type.” Cause if you’re expecting me to help out with the rent, you’re in for a big fuckin surprise.

      MR. ORANGE: He’s convinced me. Give me my dollar back.

  5. My new company is very much in product development stage BUT we are getting a lot of positive comments about the functionality we will be offering for the price points we’re targeting.

    There’s no end of questions regarding our real world reliability especially in inherently dirty environments but I always consider that positive because it gives the team a focus point and some insight into what our customers really need.

    I’m seeing a lot of interest in a flexible ownership models (basically license model) to reduce our customers up-front costs BUT this will be very difficult to support from a development level firm for cash flow reasons. So we will see how this proceeds.

    The core team is really excited about the opportunity and we’ve started targeted poaching of key team members.

    All in all a very positive outlook for 2014.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      Great to hear! Funny how in financial world drowning in liquidity so many of us productive types still have cash flow as the biggest restraint.

      • Aaw they will give you the cash alright as long as you give them plenty of property:)

        Good Luck to all you people hammering away with positive plans and business, I really wish you continued success.

      • Cash flow has always been an issue for business. Especially for a rapidly expanding business, but it can be managed, in fact it has to be.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @PF: Of course! I know that. Problem is when trying to compete with, say, IBM – those guys don’t worry about cash-flow, they can lose money for years on end and be backstopped by FED facilities

      • Cash Flow is always an issue for any start-up but it is helped enormously IF you keep a close eye on your real out-of-pocket Cost-of-Goods AND focus on maximizing your turns of capital. Fortunately software has a unit cost of close to zero, its the hardware that costs money, so we’ll be trying to get vendor financing for much of the hardware. If we can match our license revenue with our vendor costs then we can remove cash-flow as a growth constraint, that’s the aim.

        The real cash crunch typically comes when you have one successful product but need to grow to scale while at the same time introducing a new product.. At that stage we’ll need to trade some percentage of the company for access to the cash, the better we look financially the smaller this percentage dilution.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @CB I don’t have h/w costs, those are bourne by the client, my cash flow problems would be payroll and super

      • “I don’t have h/w costs, those are bourne by the client”

        You’re not hosting your solution and renting it to them as a managed product?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @nsw Nope! Info is waaaaay too valuable for that! HADOOP clusters hosted close to the exchange 😉 plus rabbitmq amp, java ee7 servers with specialised c++/ASM routines for efficiency ! If you know how to manage these services I know people looking 🙂

  6. Not sure if it’s the same thing, but my self-employed mates all have work coming out their ears and have to employ their mates just to keep up with demand. I haven’t asked them directly, but I suspect they all earn more than I do (although I’m in education so most people earn more than I).

    One thing I have noticed, for years now, is that small businesses rarely put the money I pay them through the register. The register stays open the whole time and the money goes straight in. It’s more like a wallet than a register. I asked my accountant about this once and he said “they all get caught eventually, the taxman will get them”. Bullocks to that, they’re all still doing it. Does this happen to anyone else? It must cost millions every day in lost tax but I feel sorry for small business owners and don’t blame them, hence why I don’t dob.

    • migtronixMEMBER

      I’ve contracted for Bitcoins (very short-term work) — good luck to the tax man chasing that down!!!

      • Human nature is a fascinating beast…… so many of us scream at the guys at the big end of town, yet cheat on our tax! Mig, that’s nothing against you personally. Enjoy your tax free dollars 🙂

        As long as people understand that the people they are cheating are their fellow citizens who cannot, or do not, cheat on their tax.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Turnitup : not dollars that’s the whole point! You can call it cheating the fellow population, I call it starving the beast. I encourage EVERYONE to do it until we start getting some accountability from the political class – who all use tax shelters and neg gear. I don’t do any of that I just buy out the broken system. But thank you for the trite morality lecture…

      • And who has paid for your education? A bad government doesn’t mean we don’t need public services and public goods, e.g. taxes. It means we need a much better government.

      • Yep, some unpaid taxes are really going to hurt the pollies!

        I always enjoy the right to whinge about the lack of public services and feel that I forfeit that right if I don’t pay tax.

        Wasn’t meant to sound like a lecture.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        So you’re ok with paying ever more for ever poorer quality? You want morality tales, how’s the on going murder of brown people who’ve never heard of Australia for you? Enjoying paying for that are you?

        I want accountability and I won’t settle for anything less!! To me you guys are the hypocrites because you can see government has been captured at the bi-partite level but your answer is keep paying the piper!

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @turnitup if not paying a little tax isn’t going to hurt the pollies and by implication anyone else what are on about?

      • Mig you’re playing dumb, but doing so very poorly.

        Not going to hurt pollies and by implication anyone else? Huh? Are you unable to separate the two?

        Where on earth do you think money for your local primary school & hospital come from? If people are going to avoid tax we will burn in hell. If you don’t believe me, see Greece.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @turnitup I’m glad you said this because I enjoy a little derogatory entre tet every now and then. No you’re not seeing the forest for the trees – first of all the budgets you mentioned are all borrowed into existence, the taxes pay off the debt so no worries there. Secondly what hurts the pollies is who hurts the electorate right? So if it doesn’t hurt the pollies it can’t be hurting the electorate, so why pay? OR the system is so fing broken that no matter how much you hurt the electorate it doesn’t touch the pollies, on which case paying is actually immoral not just irrational!!

        PS Greeces problem is it can’t print it’s own money they haven’t paid taxes for decades but it’s only been a life and death issue since the Euro. I’d say that’s a point for my argument not yours

      • OR the system is so fing broken that no matter how much you hurt the electorate it doesn’t touch the pollies, on which case paying is actually immoral not just irrational!!
        The immoral action is taking from a system without paying into it.

        The amount of tax revenue that pays politicians is a small fraction of the total. It’s a comically weak excuse for tax evasion.

        As for “paying ever more”, taxes haven’t gone anywhere but down for decades.

        If you don’t want to pay Australian taxes, because you disagree with them in principle, then that’s one thing. But if you stay in the country, benefiting from all the things those taxes ultimately pay for, you’re not following a principle, you’re just a hypocritical leecher.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Aaaah smithy I wondered where you were? I just knew you couldn’t let such a tasty morsel of lefty indignation go past unmolested!

        But riddle me this drsmithy has the Las 5 years not shown we can just print money, we don’t need to tax it?

        And never said anything about politicians pay, they far more from legal kickbacks so who cares, I want fucking accountability! But not you. You want socialism

      • Aaaah smithy I wondered where you were? I just knew you couldn’t let such a tasty morsel of lefty indignation go past unmolested!

        Pretty sure rorting the system is an indignation that crosses political lines (at least in principle).

        But riddle me this drsmithy has the Las 5 years not shown we can just print money, we don’t need to tax it?

        I must say I wouldn’t have picked you for a MMTer.

        And never said anything about politicians pay, they far more from legal kickbacks so who cares, I want fucking accountability!

        Maybe you can expand a little on how tax evasion will lead to “accountability”, rather than just more cuts and abuse targeted at the poorest and most vulnerable.

        But not you. You want socialism

        Can you at least get some new straw men ? Those old ones are starting to look pretty beaten up.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        F&#k I hate replying on phones! NSA infected pieces of crap!

        It’s not a strawman it’s an inescapable conclusion – I didn’t pick for someone unwilling to wear the label.

        The accountability will come the day enough people feel enough pain to awake from their deplorable consumerist slumber – if cuts to vital services even as corporate gifting goes on is what it takes so be it! I’m actually trying to avoid the looming social disaster by starving the beast that will initiate it.

        I’m no MMTer I believe in competition including in currencies.

        The real rorting of the system is being done by FIRE through low rates or haven’t you noticed – my observations are that as debt expands it gets cheaper so why not expand it to infinity and bring rates, thus usury, to 0?!

        Btw I’m only ever talking about income tax, and if taxes (I see don’t account for inflation tax) are only going down why does it take 2 people to barely afford what 1 could easily provide?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @drsmithy it’s immoral to take from the system without putting in? You mean like people on the dole? Oops. Is also immoral to take more than you put in? I think you dug that hole too deep dude.

      • It’s not a strawman it’s an inescapable conclusion – I didn’t pick for someone unwilling to wear the label.

        Maybe you’d better define what you mean by “socialist” then, since it’s apparently not aligned with the common meaning (well, unless you’re American).

        The accountability will come the day enough people feel enough pain to awake from their deplorable consumerist slumber – if cuts to vital services even as corporate gifting goes on is what it takes so be it!

        “We must destroy the village to save it” ?

        I’m actually trying to avoid the looming social disaster by starving the beast that will initiate it.

        No, you’re seeking to create a social disaster by participating in and encouraging the kind of behaviour that causes it.

        Btw I’m only ever talking about income tax, and if taxes (I see don’t account for inflation tax) are only going down why does it take 2 people to barely afford what 1 could easily provide?

        Certainly not income tax, which has been decreasing steadily since (at least) the early ’80s.

        Maybe you should look at some of those capitalists you idolise, who have been busily taking the majority of increased productivity benefits for themselves for the last few decades.

        it’s immoral to take from the system without putting in?

        It’s immoral to benefit from the system while choosing not to put in.

        You mean like people on the dole?

        People on the dole generally aren’t _choosing_ not to put in, they’re being forced not to.

        The proportion of people who are on the dole because they actually aren’t prepared to work is vanishingly small. Likely not even a rounding error in terms of cost.

        If only people like you were as eager to attack the top end of town as you were the bottom. Not only would we be better off economically, but we wouldn’t be fostering such a poisonous and corrupt society.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        You’re completely blind drsmithy, alll I want to do is attack the top end of town!!! that’s why want to starve the beast, not to piss off the – the people you idolize incidentally – inebriated and inefficacious iPad droolers who vote to have their pockets picked and their judiciary perverted all in exchange for higher RE values!! FFS the people you idolise will sell you down the river for mars bar! I’d swim in, help you to shore and offer you a cucumber sandwich if I had one handy.

        I’ve learned through bitter and painful experience no one is the least bit politically motivated — there aren’t lynchings in the street, for instance, even though we all now know that the tech we pay to dollar for is being used to spy on us; for the benefit of data miners among others; at our expense! Crickets! — and won’t be until their particular slice of the cake gets pulled.

        Prove me wrong show me how political activism has done anything the last 20 years.

        As for income taxes coming down most of all, again how did we end up with less purchasing power if we’re keeping more of the money? Because the top end of town stole it! Via taxes (no bid contracts) and inflation aided and abated by bi-partite government – with plenty of lefties in there too by the way.

        P.S. You said taking out of the system without paying in is immoral, you didn’t say anything can, or how much they can, or what % of what was put in they can take out – I’m sure you think that there are people who should pay in and never draw down, because, you know, they can afford to. Your morality sux, but the real point is if you’re going to nitpic all day long choose your own words more carefully – and don’t complain when you’re caught out…

      • It’s amazing how people justify cheating their neighbour. Nothing against you mig, I’ve enjoyed reading your responses. Human nature: urgh.

        One more thing though, what did you mean about the murder of brown people? Do you mean Afghanistan/Iraq?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @turnitup: I absolutely mean Afghanistan/Iraq!

        And as I said in my initial response no offence taken! I’m comfortable enough in my own estimations – I read philosophy and history as a teenager (in latin and greek) and I know all about human nature: urgh 😉

        I’m not avaricious, mendacious, envious or impotent! I know the first person to blame is myself, but after that analysis everything else is fair game — and our political structure [I used to write to politicians at 15…] is not a f&%king fair game!!!!!

      • You’re completely blind drsmithy, alll I want to do is attack the top end of town!!!

        Then why are you using dole bludgers as an excuse for your desire to cut back on public services ?

        Prove me wrong show me how political activism has done anything the last 20 years.

        I’m still unclear on how punishing those least able to protect themselves will help.

        As for income taxes coming down most of all, again how did we end up with less purchasing power if we’re keeping more of the money? Because the top end of town stole it! Via taxes (no bid contracts) and inflation aided and abated by bi-partite government – with plenty of lefties in there too by the way.

        I’m also a little unclear on why you’re blaming income taxes when you know they have nothing to do with increasing cost of living.

        As for blaming “lefties”, the “righties” have been pretty much running the western world for the last thirty-odd years. Since those well-known bleeding heart socialists Thatcher and Reagan, in fact.

        You said taking out of the system without paying in is immoral, you didn’t say anything can, or how much they can, or what % of what was put in they can take out […]

        That’s because it was a response to your individual justification for tax evasion.

        I’m sure you think that there are people who should pay in and never draw down, because, you know, they can afford to.

        It’s impossible for anyone who lives in Australia not to be benefiting from publicly funded services.

        Your morality sux, […]

        I think from you I should take that as a compliment.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @drsmithy: read more f$&king carefully man! I NEVER said dole bludgers they’re your words – I said on the dole because clearly they’re not putting in and you know what I was one of those poor bastards once because I couldn’t negotiate a rate under award and no one would employ without experience @ award!!! I eventually did cash! So don’t fing moralise with me dude I’ve lived it.

        Why bash lefties? I hate all associations to political control but I was a leftie for many many years until I was able to critique my own thought/brainwashing enough to realise these idiots are living in fairly-happy-land and seriously messing it up for the rest of us!! Why not blame the righties?! Because the fing righties brought you and pay for the lefties to make sure you never catch on to the real fing scam!!!!!!!!!! There is not and has never been any such thing as equality, but there was rule of common law – there isn’t any more…

      • migtronixMEMBER

        By the way Turnitup it blows my mind that you justify actual stealing – as in stealing from me in taxes – but think that prevent theft – not forking over taxes – is theft!?!?!??!?!?! Think about that logic man

      • Mig I’m struggling to understand how adopting the ‘I can’t beat ’em so I’ll join them’ philosophy fits so easily with you.

        Whilst I also strongly disagree with the Afghanistan/Iraq invasions, I do not see how these justify me not paying taxes when my dear old neighbour Mrs Brown is paying hers. I couldn’t give a fat rats backside what the flogs in the big end of town are doing, because I don’t have to look them in the eye every day, unlike Mrs Brown.

        And how on God’s green earth do you consider paying tax as having money stolen from you!? Do you mean because some of it is squandered? Don’t you feel a little big squeamish when you use a public school/hospital/road? Or when the junkie doesn’t break into your house, because his meagre dole check enables him to get a couple more hits?

        Well done for being thick skinned enough to have a robust discussion with Dr Smithy (who is quickly becoming my favourite poster) and myself without resorting to name calling. There are a few posters who would do well to take a leaf out of your book.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        @turnitup see because of my curious life journey I don’t really consider myself from any place particularly so the Iraqi or Afghani family being murdered with support of taxes for no purpose whatsoever are just as much my neighbors as Mrs Brown, only instead of their RE stake increasing value astronomically we helped make sure it was valued at close to 0! Then we complain about their impotent and pathetic (in the strictest sense of the words) attempt to evade the stove only to throw them in the Nauru frying pan! Real liberal of you! And you talk about stealing from your neighbor? Think about it.

        As I stated the taxes don’t pay for any of that its borrowed – look at NBN – hell I say borrow more so the contractors can gorge and we get some decent lines up – so you’re argument that I, who potentially pays rather more tax than yourself or drsmithy, am the harbinger of penury on the underclass is ill-conceived.

        Lastly how do I consider taxes theft? Well the definition of theft is the involuntary appropriation of another’s property so maybe I’m not the one with basic grammar and comprehension issues…
        Call me crazy but I prefer voluntary and mutually committed contracts but try getting the government to show up in court – it doesn’t exist – but some lawyer will rock and pretend to be representing the government – that doesn’t exist and has no standing to claim injury – and isn’t thrown out with prejudice!
        No I just want out now, all you people who cry crocodile tears everytime tax reform or political reform is mentioned never tell us what industrious things you’re up to, or debate things so as to garner more information and cause the field of vision to be widened. No you just complain about anyone that tries, and wonder why we want to leave…

      • @drsmithy: read more f$&king carefully man! I NEVER said dolebludgers they’re your words – I said on the dole because clearly they’re not putting in and you know what I was one of those poor bastards once because I couldn’t negotiate a rate under award and no one would employ without experience @ award!!! I eventually did cash! So don’t fing moralise with me dude I’ve lived it.
        Why bash lefties? I hate all associations to political control but I was a leftie for many many years until I was able to critique my own thought/brainwashing enough to realise these idiots are living in fairly-happy-land and seriously messing it up for the rest of us!! Why not blame the righties?! Because the fing righties brought you and pay for the lefties to make sure you never catch on to the real fing scam!!!!!!!!!! There is not and has never been any such thing as equality, but there was rule of common law – there isn’t any more…

        You’re incoherent. Calm down and rewrite that into something readable.

      • By the way Turnitup it blows my mind that you justify actual stealing – as in stealing from me in taxes – but think that prevent theft – not forking over taxes – is theft!?!?!??!?!?! Think about that logic man
        It blows my mind you equate taxes with theft, live in a society those taxes pay for, and have the gall to lecture other people about how their morals “sux”.

        Lastly how do I consider taxes theft? Well the definition of theft is the involuntary appropriation of another’s property so maybe I’m not the one with basic grammar and comprehension issues…

        Thieves generally don’t give you something back when they take your stuff.

        If you genuinely have a philosophical problem with paying tax in Australia, or anywhere else, then there is a clear and obvious solution: emigrate to somewhere that doesn’t have taxes.

        Call me crazy but I prefer voluntary and mutually committed contracts but try getting the government to show up in court – it doesn’t exist – but some lawyer will rock and pretend to be representing the government – that doesn’t exist and has no standing to claim injury – and isn’t thrown out with prejudice!

        Pray tell, what are you hoping to take the Government to court for ?

        No I just want out now, all you people who cry crocodile tears everytime tax reform or political reform is mentioned never tell us what industrious things you’re up to, or debate things so as to garner more information and cause the field of vision to be widened.

        Aha, a new straw man !

        I’ve posted in numerous discussions here supporting the types of tax reforms that are usually proposed – eliminating negative gearing and CGT discounts, imposing land value taxes, and the like.

        What I don’t have time for, is the type of person whose idea of “tax reform” is “eliminate taxation”.

        No you just complain about anyone that tries, and wonder why we want to leave…

        Oh, please. It’s pretty clear you don’t want to leave. It’s quite obvious you have skills and work opportunities that would allow you to work from just about anywhere in the world, yet here you are.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I won’t comply with your former request as I’m unclear on what precisely you were left unclear about.

        As for the society and more of your lefty indignation have a look around!?! This “society” isn’t worth paying for its a scam, maybe just maybe if people who put nothing forward such as yourself get out of the way the productive and motivated members can do something about. It wasn’t always thus and my revulsion to paying taxes, apart from the fact it really should be contract bindintag on government not just me but that’s academic and in the scheme of things irrelevant, is that they are completely unaccounted for and for every one of your ineffectual bleeding heart examples I can show you countless of corporate pillaging and middle-class welfare so piss off with that crap moralising.

        Lastly please show me how you propose reform? Because if you don’t you’re a stooge for the status qou, the very same that has amassed wealth for the last 30 years and will continue to do so, their gambit was that buying off people just like you with a few crumbs would ensure their survival – the Hank Paulson routine give us the money and leave us alone or we blow it all up.

        F.T.S.

        By the way I’m here because of commitments to two clients in particular (ICU’s) that need someone close by and haven’t found a decent one yet – otherwise believe me I’d be in HK or Singapore – had offers from Silicon Valley last year – before the IPO probably should have taken it – but no thanks.

        What do I want to take the government to court for? Everything it want to take me to court for! What are you in the habit of being a weakling in the face idiot bureaucrats?

        BTW I’m all for those tax reforms you mentioned AS LONG as it comes with accountability and a massive reduction of the disturbingly large tax code! GST was supposed to do that and added like 20000 pages

      • Mig, I totally understand your point about those kids and their families being murdered (this one’s a shocker but there are more! http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/06/05/us-usa-afghanistan-trial-idUSBRE9540H720130605) and you seeing them as your neighbour. But I don’t accept any form of tax dodging as a legitimate means of helping them. There are things you can do to make a difference. Tax dodging isn’t one. If that’s the only way you’re showing support (and it may not be, I don’t know you) then that’s very thin support. If you were fair dinkum, you would send any money you saved through tax avoidance to Afghanistan. Or head over and pick up an AK47. If not then I’m sorry, but you’re just another tax cheat who is happy for others to pay his way. Just like the dirty pollies we all despise.

      • I’m really loving this whole “I’m outta here” crap that keeps popping up so frequently on here recently. Impossible to monitor I know, but I’ll bet most of the people writing it won’t be going anywhere, because their lives here are TOO BLOODY COMFORTABLE! So much easier to write ‘bugger this joint, I’m outta here’ than actually pack your shit and make that move. Still, it feels good to blow off some steam. And I literally am out of this place in he monrning. For 8 days ;). Off to see Janet and Hugh 🙂

      • As for the society and more of your lefty indignation have a look around!?! This “society” isn’t worth paying for its a scam, […]

        Yes, a complete scam. Who would want to live somewhere with low levels of crime, high levels of education and health, decent social mobility, decent worker protections and high average incomes ?

        Far better we were in some libertarian utopia, where none of those things would be true outside of the top 5% or so living in their walled gardens.

        maybe just maybe if people who put nothing forward such as yourself get out of the way the productive and motivated members can do something about. It wasn’t always thus and my revulsion to paying taxes, apart from the fact it really should be contract bindintag on government not just me but that’s academic and in the scheme of things irrelevant, is that they are completely unaccounted for and for every one of your ineffectual bleeding heart examples I can show you countless of corporate pillaging and middle-class welfare so piss off with that crap moralising.

        You’ve gone incoherent again.

        Lastly please show me how you propose reform?

        Being a staunch believer in the principles of democracy, I propose it be done through the political process.

        Of course, there are some rather large flaws in Australia’s political environment that make this route difficult, which is why I also have a plan to move back to Switzerland if possible when everything here finally collapses.

        Because if you don’t you’re a stooge for the status qou, the very same that has amassed wealth for the last 30 years and will continue to do so, their gambit was that buying off people just like you with a few crumbs would ensure their survival – the Hank Paulson routine give us the money and leave us alone or we blow it all up.

        Yes, obviously everyone who doesn’t agree with your views is just a stooge for all the people you disagree with.

        What do I want to take the government to court for? Everything it want to take me to court for!

        Which is what, exactly ?

      • migtronixMEMBER

        Move back to Switzerland! That we can absolutely agree on, I’ve always enjoyed Geneve (great Jazz festival) Lausaune and Lugano and can easily get work there – plus I’m something of an hourology buff. See there I would have no problem paying tax as its accountable! Which is what I’ve been saying, and you’ve been ignoring, all along.

        Anyway I actually finished rebuilding and testing the stupid servers and the unit tests are passing so I’m going to stop checking in here and enjoy the rest of my evening in the rather more comfortable company of a book and a vinyl records…Good night to you drsmithy.

        BTW what do I want to take the government to court for? For phuking allowing the NSA to spy on me for starters!!! Read the news dude its not good people in charge.

    • The government doesnt loose all the tax, they still collect GST. The ATO also has benchmarks for most businesses that compare sales, profits, rent, wages, expenses and materials and if you fall out of this band you WILL be caught. EG. If you do fencing then your costs would be something like 84% and profit will be the balance, if you show all expenses at 96% then expect a pat on your shoulder.

      http://www.ato.gov.au/Business/Small-business-benchmarks/In-detail/About/Small-business-benchmarks/

      AND the if you buy a house and/or a car be afraid, be very afraid.

  7. So, so far, most MB business owners/managers are doing well, and optimistic about the new new year? Bar one maybe?

    Snail Cafe – not quite the response you were expecting I bet??

      • Well it’s all rosy then. All we need now is a BMW salesman. We could buy in bulk and save a few bucks.

      • Naw PF, BMWs are so yesterday so are Audis …next must have thing is one’s own helicopter.
        Tradies will be flat out concreting helipads over the rose gardens and converting houses to flat roof style.
        RE agents will be able to get between Blacktown and Mosmon a lot quicker too.
        Cheers.

    • gonderb
      I’m a bit old and view everything with a very jaundiced and sceptical eye! 🙂
      Life’s taught me not to go spending on the basis of optimism! There is a bit of a motivational problem around here…all the staff are happy but the boss is always the pessimist 🙂

      P.S. I do do informally survey friends all the time. We’re all a bit economically intersted so we all ask questions and it can get to be over a fair range of enterprises. Further within the current environment if you’re around Sydney or Melbourne Your business would be inclined to be looking up because that’s where the nation gets drained to.
      WA and Qld would probably feel a bit less optimistic than previously I feel.
      Anyway it would be much more useful if we had a break-up of the businesses by activity. Otherwise it doesn’t tell us much about the reality of our situation.

      • migtronixMEMBER

        I love those kinds of bosses/clients (within reason of course) feels like I’m being kept honest/accountable instead of BSd

  8. Snail, We’re in a niche manufacturing market, We’ve got more orders coming in than we can poke a stick at – so some serious growing pains or cashflow implosion……..Mind you it’s IP protected & the owner wants to keep it here, otherwise I could see it being produced almost anywhwere else but here. Our tradies are also begrudgingly accepting a hairdressers wage – for now – growing pressure there, particularly when this year they’ll see subbies coming in to help spread the workload at subbie rates!

    Building has kick started again (Attributed to Abbott, but WTF has changed?), but I dont see prices moving much thankfully – they’re ridiculous compared to local wages as it stands, thanks to city seachangers bidding them up out of reach of the locals for the last 13 years (think foreign buyers pricing out city dwellers on a local scale).

    Tourism has been a rip snorter this year, but motelliers are predicting a shorter season……….

    Retail – Everything seems to be permanently on sale……. & when the touro’s go, it’ll be back to tumbleweeds in the streets!

    • Thanks Nudge and great to hear about your orders.
      Sounds like you guys are on the coast somewhere and have a Made In Aus product used in the building or renovating game.
      China,Thailand will and do copy anything they like so I hope your IP is more than Design Registered…It is very difficult and expensive to sue a Chinese or Thai business especially if you are a SME.
      I mean here in Aus the big retailers will even copy your product and get it made in Asia if they get a hold of it and think it is a goer. That is one of the problems I have encountered, the buyers and managers of these large retailers couldn’t care less about their fellow Aussies trying to have a go, its now very close to crony capitalism here.
      Again Good Luck.

      • Thanks SC, Fingers Crossed!
        It’s a recycling plant about the size of 2 large shipping containers & can be tailored & tuned for many different products. Simple concept & very smart in the same breath. The owner has gone to great lengths & expense to protect his IP, he’s pretty wily so I hope he knows what he’s doing. TBH when he first showed up we were wondering why? & what motives he had, really thought he might have been a nutter. Seeing the desecration of manufacturing most of my adult life, I would’ve headed straight to Thailand if it were me.

        This workshop was doing odd engineering & dwindling housing structure, we were run down & on our knees. It’s still a bumpy ride, but it’s looking up, & if he hadn’t turned up 2 years ago we’d be closed! There’s not much work here so I’d be a successful full time trader – or probably stacking shelves!

        Forgot to mention that a fair sample of the FIFO’s I know are becoming more concerned, particularly the ones in gold mines, some layoffs, but mainly shorter contracts for now. They’re not as cocky as they were, murmurings in mining construction area’s as well. Wheatstone was an exception – & so were the blokes from there…..

      • Nudge, I’m glad to hear that other are succeeding in creating new companies in Australia.

        To be honest: Creating a successful Australian start-up definitely belongs in the too difficult basket (at least for me). Frankly I just couldn’t handle another round of proposals that all seem impossible for one reason or another. I dont know how you guys handle the feeling that interested parties have painted you into an impossible corner, AND they intend to pick your pocket if your stupid enough to try to create something new. @#$%-That!

        Frankly it’s good to be back working with Chinese and Indian engineers. I find it exciting to work on a project when you know, from the outset, that you have the right cost structure to succeed. You can be so much more generous with stock options (as part of the salary package) when you know that you wont need to use this stock to finance the companies operational expenses.

      • CB,
        “interested parties have painted you into an impossible corner, AND they intend to pick your pocket if your stupid enough to try to create something new”.

        Seen a lot of that the last couple of years. Quite an education & I don’t think I know the half of it! Unbelievable the stunts they’ve pulled to try & get to the honeypot, including getting at his business partners (relatives) & breaking them up, demanding the plans be kept on a ‘secure’ cloud server in Sydney, spying etc true sleazy mafia stuff! The parasites all want to get the wood over you in some way or another with the aim of bringing you down & stripping you out – getting their hands on that IP! In Fact that’s primarily why we’re close to 2 years behind where we would have been, from being f….ed around by manipulative, conspiring banksters!

        I used to think that all these brilliant ideas that went OS was due to gob smacking short sighted stupidity on the bankers part & wanting the ‘security’ of putting your house on the line – secretly hoping you’ll fail so they can pick up your house. Now I’ve got a far better understanding why any good idea goes overseas. You lay down with the dogs here you’ll get fleas that’ll kill the host!

        They’re culling the wrong sharks – and these ones are in Our ecosystem!

  9. Just one point in this. I don’t know how long we have been looking at PMI and PSI reports which have shown increasaed costs and lower or stable selling prices. Someone else might have an objective time frame. I know I’ve been commenting on it for a couple of years …there or thereabouts.
    So there is inflation pressure in our pipeline. I’ve had reports from friends in the building game that costs of materials there had already started to rise as of late last year. This is just on-the-ground hearsay stuff of course but still it’s there.
    At some point the build-up of pressure has to be released. Like all things under pressure, once you get a break, it’s damned hard to get it back together.

    I think this is the first time I have agreed with Koukalis on anything. There is some reall infaltionary danger in this which when combined with the pressure from the lower A$ could get quite serious.
    I think Koukalis might be wrong however in terms of RBA response to inflation. If they do respond it will be on a very minor scale. We’re going to get a lot of ‘look through’ inflation talk…including from Koukalis I tip. Still it might preclude any further falls.

    Really appreciate any other thoughts on this subject!

    • Inflation is the last resort of RBA and FED for financial repression. It will happen not because of some significant economic growth, but because this is the only way left for getting the government debt down and its revenue up. And you know why.

      • Hi Lori
        Agree the inflation won’t come from growth. That’s not quite what I meant. There are cost pressures building in this economy from a variety of source including the ‘protected’ sectors and the imported goods and services area. So it will be cost push. At some point the hose (dam) bursts. Anything that eases the containment pressure means it bursts sooner.

        Inflation has never fixed debt yet! I keep wondering why everyone thinks it will this time. Any fall in Govt debt will be offset by a rise in private debt on an even greater exponential scale than at present.

      • interested party

        Lori,

        “It will happen not because of some significant economic growth, but because this is the only way left for getting the government debt down and its revenue up”……….
        I really doubt that inflation is on the way. In the past it was a strategy that was employed because there was some elasticity available in the economy……….meaning we could handle it. I suspect that that is not the case this time around. Correct me if I am wrong but is it true that the tax receipts to GOV cannot service the interest due on the bonds already in existence so we have to borrow( create more bonds) to cover the shortfall? The true economy is in poor shape and will not cope with a prescribed bout of inflation……..just ain’t gunna happen. It is economic euthanasia to bring that on. The parasite (debt) has grown too large for the host.

        Flawse,

        “There are cost pressures building in this economy from a variety of source including the ‘protected’ sectors and the imported goods and services area. So it will be cost push.”

        or there is a wave of SME’s about to go under and a move toward more consolidation. I really cannot see inflation coming at all. To me, we are in a zone where a weird kind of calm has descended on us, and we are standing around like a mob of penguins looking at each other wondering what the hell is next.

      • IP

        “we are in a zone where a weird kind of calm has descended on us, and we are standing around like a mob of penguins looking at each other wondering what the hell is next”

        I’m gonna use that phrase somewhere, sometime.

        Penguins are funny. Ta.

      • IP (P.S. I’m not dogmatic about this. I’ve lived too long trying to predict the future. I usually get it right but timing is the hard part)
        (To others I’m going to tell my usual boring inflationary argument and just refreshing for the discussion with IP so most of you can joyfully skip it))
        IP I know the feelingyou describe but (just for the discussion) think about the cycles.
        Let’s start neutral. Then business picks up for one reason and another businesses expand others open up. Then things get worse over-supplied etc. Everyone heads towards marginal cost with their prices. Of course in this process businesses inevitably go broke…less competition less pressure on prices until enough have gone broke. We’ve staved off this last phase with ever lower interst rates. For the last 18 months or two years I have read of rising costs and falling prices in the PMI’s and PSI’s. It can’t go on forever. At some stage prices must rise as businesses go broke.
        As I saifd we will not get demand pull inflation. I’ve written a lot here, possibly before your time, of the rising prices out of China. Despite the A$ rising from USD 0.85 to USD $1.03 our FOB prices remained the same. This effect was largely seen in the tradable component of the CPI which showed 0 to just + increase. It SHOULD have declined 15% on the currency. The effect is due to rising FOB prices which are not going to stop just because little Aus might fall into recession. On the latest fall evidence is gathering this is starting to feed through. In our own business we have partially offset the falling dollar. Retailers probably haven’t yet moved their prices much at all. So we may well have continuous feedthrough from a falling dollar for the next 18 months.
        Note that while thre tradable goods component of the CPI was 0 to slightly + the non-tradable sector hopped along with about 4% inflation. net effect is a low inflation rate say 2% or so. Note here there is a feed-back of low infaltion from tradables helping keep non-tradable in check. You’ll get the same feedback in the opther direction if tradable prices start to rise. So instead of 4% non-tradable inflation what will it be if tradable hits say 10%? You have to allow for the old self-reinforcing loop that will go on for years.

        We have wasted our good fortune of cheaper goods and resultant lower inflation that has been the result of the emergence of the SE Asiansd over 6 decades. Instead of using the cheap goods to save more we just spent more and more. Now as the cost of the imported goods rises there is no way out of our debt.

        We will inevitably get inflation out of this process – as sure as night follows day. Every policy, whether economic cultural or social is heading for the same result. The fact that nobody (except me:) ) thinks it can happen almost makes it inevitable. Everybody will ignore the signs. I believe it is already too late. Time frame? I’d say 18 months to two years will start to get it rolling and its then onwards and upwards. That’s my opinion and i’ll entertain others on timing. However again I think it is as certain as night follows day.

        The one qualification here is the effect of robotics. However, offsetting that, we are all using up resources and we can expect that will catch up with us. Again society, in response to robotics, may follow its usual path. A section will get all the benefit and the rest will get screwed. Frankly it scares the living daylights out of me.

        P.S.S. As per Escobar…the penguin analogy is nice!

      • interested party

        Thanks for that Flawse, you have given this some thought. I did miss your earlier posts unfortunately……..kudo’s for still beating the drum.

        A few questions if I may….
        “At some stage prices must rise as businesses go broke.”
        I assume you are saying that supply destruction will pass the equilibrium point and allow producers to raise prices into the now under-supplied market……….all things being equal. I get that ……but I feel that this is not your usual business cycle……..what if we have arrived at peak demand?

        “Despite the A$ rising from USD 0.85 to USD $1.03 our FOB prices remained the same. This effect was largely seen in the tradable component of the CPI which showed 0 to just + increase. It SHOULD have declined 15% on the currency.”
        Sorry if this comes across as me being ignorant……….how much of this was/is energy cost related?

        With robotics, we may buy a little time with that but if what you fear is correct then it is set in stone.

        “The one qualification here is the effect of robotics. However, offsetting that, we are all using up resources and we can expect that will catch up with us. Again society, in response to robotics, may follow its usual path. A section will get all the benefit and the rest will get screwed. Frankly it scares the living daylights out of me.”
        I share your fears……………..I have good days and bad.. Rum and fishing help, as long as the fish bite and keep me busy…..rum just makes me comfortable.

        Bottom line for me is “I don’t know what the hell to think ( I reckon most here are in the same boat) and there are so many variables and no relevant history to guide me.” This is not a normal business cycle in my eyes.

        Hence the penguin analogy!

        PS…….I appreciate your input here at MB as many others do I believe.

      • Thanks IP for your positive comments. We’re little different I reckon. I come here to explore stuff seeking answers when i know there are none.
        I beat the drum on this inflation because i’m the only one who posits this sort of logic. Whatever we each believe we should be aware of other possible outcomes. The psychology of my life existence leads me to pessimistic conclusions.
        Re Oil prices. I don’t know the answer. I guess it wouldn ‘t be hard if we had the stats to hand and would be a worthwhile exercise. I THINK oil prices probably rose at the same time at about the same rate as our dollar. So if the A$ declines we better hope the oil price drops substantially!
        I’m an importer. My curiosity as to how things function has for thirty years extended to China. I have been there about 70 times, tried to learn teh language, and spent about 2.5 years of my life there in total. The questions and answers often come through a cloud of Moutai while sitting in restaurants talking with Chinese people opf varying economic and political status. Chinese prosperity and demograhic effects, things that are an essential factor in our future, are not being considered, even for a moment, by any economist, politician or commentator in this whole country. What a monumental piece of national stupidity!
        However my point is that, on the micro scale, my own price lists stayed the same as the dollar rose from 85 to 103. My landed costs after the rise were the same as before the rise. My goods are mostly labour intensive so that is a qualification. However, despite what we believe, the Government in China has been trying to develop a prosperous ‘Middle Class’ Total wages in the factories we use have grown at 20 odd percent per year for the last three to four years. Labour shortages are everywhere. It’s more an more difficult to recruit workers even for more money. The young people just don’t want to know about it.
        So the source of our low inflation is running out. We can shift around and some of my Chinese friends have opened in Vietnam abd other places. However there is NOT another China in the world in tewmrs of either scale or effiiceincy and as aTtaiwanese friend who has a quite large factory in China (and Vietnam) remarked “Chinese people want the good times too….just like you!”
        Sorry it’s a big topic and I try to summarise! In doing so it may not connect together for anyone outside my own mind!

        Where we are wrong with this business cycle thing is the time frame. I am thinking in a business cycle that, in my opinion, is now some, almost 60 years in. The average ‘long term’ for economists these days seems to be somewhere between 12 months and three years max.! The long cycle started with cheap goods from Japan then Taiwan, Thailand, Phillipines, then Korea and finally around 1995 (memory?) China, he big mother of it all, really started to kick in. That part of this cycle has now come to an end. What we are now facing is the culmination of 50 years of slothful lazy self-indulgence on a civilisation scale. Australia with its reliance on selling off assets to pay for wasteful self-indulgence is perhaps the leading example of what our western civilisation, in general, has done
        We’ve wasted our world incurring debt to do so.
        The answers lie back in time.
        Again sorry to rave on! However we cannot disconnect the debt from our stupid waste of our world and the futures of people yet to come. My problem is that I can’t force everyone to see it my way…yet!!!! 🙂
        Vote Flawse for dictator!

    • interested party

      Flawse,
      “I beat the drum on this inflation because i’m the only one who posits this sort of logic. Whatever we each believe we should be aware of other possible outcomes. The psychology of my life existence leads me to pessimistic conclusions.”
      I hear you. We share the same affliction on the pessimistic side. I will clarify my thoughts for both of us……I see no inflation short to near term, two years out say, but if it does arrive the jig’s up….bigtime! I have no idea on the longer term though.

      “Where we are wrong with this business cycle thing is the time frame. I am thinking in a business cycle that, in my opinion, is now some, almost 60 years in. The average ‘long term’ for economists these days seems to be somewhere between 12 months and three years max.!”

      Ok, this is where it gets interesting. The time frame of the cycle you are talking about was in a time of cheap and easy energy………and cheap resources. We are so far past that time…………that is my fear. And that is the angle I am coming from regarding my thoughts that this cycle is different. There is an energy creep that people have not acknowledged, they are too busy trying to make ends meet. It is enveloping society with a pall that is almost anesthetic in it’s behavior. Scary.

      “Again sorry to rave on! However we cannot disconnect the debt from our stupid waste of our world and the futures of people yet to come. My problem is that I can’t force everyone to see it my way…yet!!!! 🙂
      Vote Flawse for dictator!”

      You are not raving, my friend. We fear for the same thing, but see it from slightly different angles.
      As for dictator, I still want in on pollie night.

      • Thanks IP Good to have you around!
        Re the cheap fuel and all other resources over 60 years…exactly.
        The topic of money, cheap interst and use of resources is a (Jousting) List I’ll return to another day! Here again I am currently, not quite but almost, a lone voice.
        Cheers

    • interested party

      Flawse,

      You have stirred a curiosity in me regarding exactly what you are trying to convey here. I see that you are very concerned with what you see and I have been mulling it over figuring out just what you are looking at…… from your perspective.

      Here’s where I am at the moment.

      The cost of manufacturing in China is rising quickly due to demographics, both from the disinterested youth and also the rising demands from employees. So to offset these rising costs, businesses are chasing the cheaper labour around the planet. This is running out of road. Your FOB costs are about to rise due to the above + a lower exchange rate exacerbates the problem. You can cut wall thickness and material quality only so far. Sooner or later you HAVE to raise prices to survive.

      Point 1 you are not alone…….many businesses will be acting in concert so I see your inflationary fears, if my assumptions are correct above.

      Point 2 rising energy costs will supercharge the problem………more pressure

      Point 3 this will occur even in falling local demand…..to a point.

      Point 4 not sure on how global overcapacity fits into this equation if demand falls

      To follow this through to some sort of logical conclusion, I see small importers with limited range of products struggling badly, closing down, and giving back whatever market-share they enjoyed to multi-nationals………until the market adjusts to the higher prices and the whole routine starts again but with shorter times between the busts for the little guy’s due to increasing cost pressure within the manufacturing blocks……….a cycle of absorption and release, absorption and release…….How am I going? I somehow think I need to understand this and get it right. This cycle cannot be controlled at a local level…….it is international in scope.
      One take away that I see may be beneficial to local manufacturing IF we can lower the labour rates enough to make that viable………not holding my breath on that one though. A lot of damage will be done before we reach that place.

      I am in construction, not manufacturing or imports. I have not had to consider these angles before…….and….I didn’t know that I didn’t know…….so never thought to ask.

  10. The business I work for let go of dozens of employees today. Where my girlfriend works they were fishing for people who want to work fewer hours. I will definitely be holding back on discretionary spending!

    • Perhaps our wee sample here is a bit small and biased towards smart thinking innovative people? I suspect Ajay is seeing the more typical scenario….but i don’t pretend to KNOW! I’m just afraid.

      • Flawse I must say this has been a great discussion from all who have commented on this D&B post.
        Well done to all, special thanks to your good self, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed reading it indeed.
        Cheers and tomorrow is a new day, so tuck in snuggle up and pump out some zzzzzs.

    • My wife’s employer (engineering consultancy) announced late last year they’d be expecting to downsize by ~15% in the coming year, though more through attrition (ie: not renewing contracts) than redundancies.

  11. I’m in small biz manufacturing and retail to the public through bricks and mortar store and online.

    My figures are a little higher than the same as last year. Not enough to get wildly excited about but consistent enough.

    However, around me, there are womens clothing and jewellery shops who are doing it tough and the local cafe’s are all saying how much quieter things are.

    Several are closing around the area and some are long established businesses. Many will not survive to see the next Dry season.

    However Darwin has numerous factors that don’t effect the rest of the country. Our housing costs are outrageous which reduces discrectionary spending and the hotels are full of FIFO workers instead of high end tourists. The Fly in fly out workers are on 12 hour shifts, eat at MacDonalds and fly out of state with the money they make here. The FIFO’s do not eat at nice cafe’s, they do not buy expensive dresses, jewellery or indulge in retail spending.

    They work, sleep and leave with their earnings. Quite frankly they are really hurting the Territory but the state government is too dumb to see it.